Meet the Team
Aney Patel
Film subject, medical volunteer
A native of Gujarat, India, Aney is a physician’s assistant who has worked at numerous hospitals in New York City. She leads, organizes, and fundraises for women’s health initiatives in rural India.
Farida Mir
Film subject, artist
An artisan and jewelry maker in Dasada, Gujarat, Farida belongs to a wandering tribe called the Mirs. She is the only girl in her community to have reached high school. She can converse in English, French, and Italian.
Matt Alesevich
Director, producer
A writer and photojournalist, Matt has been the voice of the world’s biggest brands—from Google to Uber; Vice to Al Jazeera. He’s been traveling to rural India on medical expeditions since 2013.
Hemal Trivedi
Director, editor
Over a 20 year filmmaking career, Hemal’s work has won one Oscar, three Emmys, and a Peabody. She’s been nominated for eight Emmys, an MTV Movie Award, Cinema Eye Award, and Independent Spirit Awards. 
Matt Rachamkin
Producer, philanthropist
A two-time Emmy-nominee, Matt has executive produced Amazon Studios’ Sylvie’s Love, starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, and Showtime’s The One and Only Dick Gregory
Cynthia Kane
Co-creator of the Sundance Channel’s DOCday, Cynthia has brought over 150 international productions to screens worldwide. She’s responsible for bringing the groundbreaking docuseries The Staircase to US television.
Prerana Thakurdesai
Impact Producer
Prerana has directed 10 short films on women’s reproductive rights for the Population Foundation of India. She also previously worked with Amir Khan Productions on the hit Indian docu-talk show Satyamev Jayate.
Anand Gautam
A Haryana, India, native, Anand’s work has screened on PBS and at many international film festivals—from the New York Indian Film Festival to the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.
Jaya Shah
A lifelong pediatrician and co-founder of Medical Yatra medical missions, Jaya has been inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame for her selfless service to India and Ohio.
Ramesh Shah
Co-founder of the Medical Yatra medical mission with his wife, Jaya, Ramesh started organizing medical missions into India after an earthquake struck his home state of Gujarat in 2001.
Agyat Mitra
Social worker
A global ambassador for Play for Peace, Agyat has traveled the world—from Israel to Sri Lanka—organizing youth empowerment camps in rural areas.
Swati Bhatt
Social worker
Swati is a Play for Peace ambassador who focuses on building agency in adolescent girls. She’s worked all over India and in refugee camps from Greece to South Sudan. 
Ankita Modi
Pediatrician, medical advisor
A Cleveland native, Ankita is a pediatrician in Charlotte. She’s been a leader on numerous medical missions in rural India and advised and supported Aney throughout her journey.
Manoj Narula
Originally from Faridabad, India, Manoj’s body of work spans Bollywood and Hollywood. He shot Imaginary Rain, a Bollywood film set in New York starring 5-time India Best Actress winner Shabana Azmi.
Rod Mickels
Executive producer
The CEO of InVision Communications and founder of The Giving Exchange, Rod sits on the board of the Cancer Support Community and donates Invision resources to many non-profits—from the American Cancer Society to the California Symphony Board.
Drew Hagen
Executive producer
Co-founder of InVision Communications, Drew oversees the company’s charitable projects and sits on the boards of The Giving Exchange, The Good Tidings Foundation, and Operation USA.
Sarva Rajendra
Executive producer
Founder of Real World Caregiving and the executive director of the Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education, Sarva focuses her philanthropic efforts on educating and empowering girls in India.
Jonathan T. Baker
Executive producer
A former Sony executive, Jonathan produced The Banker, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and Amazon Studios’ Sylvie’s Love, starring Tessa Thompson and Eva Longoria.
Niyati Kukadia
Social worker
An environmental conservationist, Niyati is an interpreter for various tribal and ethnic groups in rural Gujarat. She is an advocate for responsible and sustainable tourism and study abroad programs.
Jonah Markowitz
An investigative photojournalist and regular New York Times contributor, Jonah’s work has been nominated for two Emmys and is on display in the Museum of the City of New York.
Aditya Roy
Field producer
An Ahmedabad-based biologist, naturalist, and filmmaker, Aditya has shot and advised on projects in rural Gujarat with National Geographic, Animal Planet, and the BBC. 
Pavan Patel
A photographer, mountaineer, and adventure tour guide, Pavan’s work has been published in magazines all over the world. He’s a spotter and interpreter on wilderness excursions in rural Gujarat.
Gunnard Doboze
Gunnard has scored three films that have been nominated for Academy Awards, including the 2012 Best Short Documentary Saving Face. His work has been featured on HBO, Showtime, and A&E.
Micah Lorick
Micah works as a first, second, and third AC, in addition to editing and operating sound. He’s currently attached to three movies on various streaming platforms, including Apple TV and Tubi TV.
Tyler H. Walk
Post-production adviser 
A Cinema Eye Award-winning and Emmy-nominated editor, Tyler earned a Sundance 2020 Special Jury Award for Editing. He worked on Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next and the Oscar-nominated How to Survive a Plague
Shivangi Desai
Medical volunteer
Shivangi graduated from GMERS Medical College Sola in Gujarat and is an internal medicine resident at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York. 
Chris O’Flaherty
Associate producer, cinematographer
A visual storyteller and wildlife enthusiast, Chris has worked with the UN, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Disney Conservation Fund. He was the cinematographer on Yatra research shoots in 2017 and 2018.
Charly Louise
Associate producer
The founder and director of Venus Rising Media, Charly was a producer on the earliest Yatra research shoots in Cleveland in 2017 and in Vizag, India, in 2018.
Sonali Thakkar
Medical volunteer
Born in Mumbai, Sonali moved to the US in high school and is now a physical therapist in Dallas. She speaks Gujarati and continues to support, advise, and plan future trips to Gujarat with Aney.
V. Sai Sampath
Field producer
A Vishakapatnam, India, native, Sai was a field producer during the 2018 Yatra research shoot in Vizag. He was an assistant editor on I Feel Pretty, starring Amy Schumer.
Poorva Dinesh
Additional editor
Based in Pune, India, Poorva’s recent film It Happens was supported by Docedge Kolkata, the DOC NYC x VC Storytelling Incubator, and the Scottish Documentary Institutue’s Connecting Stories Mentorship Program.
Hina Metha
Medical volunteer
A Gujarati-American pediatrician in Dallas, Texas, Hina had her first medical mission experience on the 2020 Medical Yatra medical mission in Punjab, India. She plans to keep volunteering on trips into rural Gujarat.
Ginny Gregory
Medical volunteer
A nurse practitioner from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Ginny is also a long-time international medical volunteer. She’s volunteered on medical mission trips in India, Bosnia, Ukraine, and Haiti. 
Jenn Shaw
Jenn executive produced and directed the 3-part docuseries Running While Black for Vice and Adidas. Her ESPN film $15 Kicks was executive produced by Spike Lee and earned a Black Reel Award. 
Rachel Bozich
Assistant editor
An editor and producer, Rachel recently produced Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal and HBO’s Year One, about Joe Biden’s first year in office.
Vaithahavya Vadlamani
V.V. is the creative head at the Eastern Film Company in Hyderabad, India. He was a camera operator and translator during the 2018 Yatra research shoot in Vizag.
Venkat Pranav
Production assistant
An engineer in Visakhapatnam, India, Venket played various roles throughout the 2018 Yatra research shoot in the Araku Valley—from running sound to translating for patients.
Ola Ogunye
Legal adviser
Ola has provided pro bono counsel to comic book illustrators, non profit stage productions, and documentary filmmakers. She spent years as an intake attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
Seth Kessler
Production photography
An art director, UX designer, and photographer, Seth’s photography from Yatra shoots in India won first place in a 2016 Rotary Club International Photo Competition.
Priya Naresh
Research assistant
A filmmaker and researcher based in New Delhi, Priya has made four films. Her 2002 film Akkha Din, Akkhi Raat won a Golden Bioscope at the Nagari Film Competition.
Daniel Fabi
A no-code web developer and UX designer, Dan helps brands establish their online voices and is a frequent collaborator of the Zero Infinity team.